Re-inventing the Ancien Régime in Post-Napoleonic Europe.

Caiani, Ambrogio A. (2017) Re-inventing the Ancien Régime in Post-Napoleonic Europe. European History Quarterly, 47 (3). pp. 437-460. ISSN 0014-3111. E-ISSN 1461-7110. (doi:10.1177/0265691417701812)

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Abstract

‘Revolution’ as an historical category has received continuous academic interest and scrutiny, whereas the regime invented by the French Revolution has received less sophisticated theoretical analysis and unpacking. The term ancien régime was created the moment of its death. The subsequent restructuring and politicisation of this concept during the post-Napoleonic era remains largely unstudied. It is the argument here that the world after 1815 created a number of ‘new old regimes.’ These political systems, which made reference to ancien régime inheritances, were not straightforward reflections of a ‘real past.’ They were malleable discourses that could be calibrated to corroborate the competing claims made by conservatives, radicals and liberals about how post-Napoleonic Europe was to be organised. The ‘new old regime’ of the nineteenth century, though historically grounded, was instrumental in design and made little effort to resurrect the ‘real past’ to which it purportedly made constant reference. The battle to define the ‘new old regime’ was not a rear guard action but lay at the very heart of European politics after 1815. The forces of nationhood, constitutionalism, parliamentarianism, liberalism and democracy unfurled by the twin gorgons of revolution and Napoleonic conquest were not guaranteed to win the day. Dynasticism, aristocratic hierarchy, military glory, religious revival, village communalism and regionalism continued to prosper during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0265691417701812
Uncontrolled keywords: Restoration, Post-Napoleonic Europe, Ancien Regime, Historicism, Legitmacy, Carlism, Counter Revolution, New Old Regimes
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DB Austria
D History General and Old World > DC France
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
D History General and Old World > DF Greece
D History General and Old World > DG Italy
D History General and Old World > DH Netherlands (The Low Countries)
D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland) > DJK Eastern Europe
D History General and Old World > DP Spain
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Ambrogio Caiani
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 12:03 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:38 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/56559 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Caiani, Ambrogio A.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3358-7277
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